business advice sessions
Help Musicians
Help Musicians
9th April 2021
business advice sessions

Some creative support from Help Musicians includes business advice to help you navigate your career. 18 subject areas focusing on direct interventions to help artists and musicians adapt themselves and their businesses, to ‘the new normal’ – of life with a radically changed  live sector. You may select up to two from the following:




1. Building a portfolio creative career - Jeremy Paterson, iF Media Consultancy

This session is for those with multiple creative talents who want to use them all to create and sustain a music career.  In the modern landscape where creative disciplines are ever more crossed referenced, an artist/ musician may be able to use their additional creative skills to support or enhance their music career. This session helps those lucky enough to have multi-disciplinary skills to explore how their design, filmmaking, writing, acting, teaching or other creative skills can be used to create a result that is more than the sum of their parts.

Areas explored include using your multiple skills to generate income to support other aspects of your career, devising plans to unlock the multiple audiences you appeal to, how to turn these multiple audiences into your fanbase, and how to use these skills to sustain and extend your music release cycles. 


2. Building your Artist Brand - Jeremy Paterson, iF Media Consultancy

For artists that understand that music alone is seldom enough to kick start a career… Building a long-term music career and sustaining it requires a strong brand to underpin your musical output. This session helps you define your brand and helps you to understand how to bring it to life over the long term.

Topics covered include – defining your brand, boosting your release and touring activity with a narrative story; building a team to help drive the vision; building, engaging and leveraging your network to amplify your brand; considering alternative funding sources to add value and bring your projects to life; the importance of knowledge to enhance creativity; approaching your musical creativity in a more holistic manner and the importance of having a SMART plan


3. Bringing your ambition to life by making the most of your time - Jeremy Paterson, iF Media Consultancy

This session is for those artists that need support creating a plan for the development of their career and help organising and completing the huge volume of tasks required to build and sustain a music career.

An emerging artist building and sustaining a career faces so many choices of how to do this that it can lead to inertia – most will know that releasing music and playing live is no longer enough on its own to kick star a career, but how do you navigate through the multitude of options and opportunities and create a plan that identifies your goals and ambitions and allows you to assess progress against them. Topics covered include – setting objectives across the breadth of your career, developing a 1, 3 and 5 year plan, prioritisation of the most impactful activity and building in accountability to make sure you deliver and succeed. 


4. Publishing & IP - Dennis Collopy, Menace Music Management

Even in these unique and challenging times there are opportunities during what could be a lengthy suspension of all other activities for music creators to review how their rights are being managed.  This period offers a unique opportunity for musicians to carry out a health check/ audit on their music rights, making sure all of their information on their musical works and recordings are registered correctly at PRS and PPL.  It might also be a time to better understand how streaming works in terms of payments and better appreciating the importance of supplying accurate and complete metadata for both the recording and the musical work  to the digital distributor at the point at which a recording is completed and before it is uploaded to the digital eco-system.


5. Business development/ Artist & label strategies - Andy Edwards

This session typically takes a holistic approach to your career, understanding the journey you have taken as an artist, and where you want to go.  And in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, we will discuss how you can utilise your own skills and resources to see you through tough times, while also identifying where you can forge ahead, even if you are not able to do certain things e.g. playing live.  We will explore options for further support and strategies to shore up income or mitigate costs and consider why now might be a good time to do some housekeeping around your business affairs, write and record new material, or take some time to develop creative or business skills that you can utilise as things return to normal.  This current situation is unprecedented and beyond anyone’s control, but it can also be an opportunity once you have established a baseline level of support.


6. Fan Engagement Strategy - Jessie Scoullar, Wicksteed Works

Owning the relationship with your fans is the bottom line for a successful artist strategy.  Building your fanbase starts with understanding yourself and your brand, and this is where we begin, before examining the building blocks of direct-to-fan strategy and best practices for keeping your communication channels active and engaging.  Once your fanbase is engaged and interested in your activities, you're ready to consider how to monetise.  We'll take a look at campaign planning, including product and pricing strategy, as well as newer revenue streams like live-streaming and subscription membership programmes, with reference throughout to a range of recent and remarkable campaigns, for inspiration and critique.


7. Streaming Strategy - Sam Lee, Songular

Streaming platforms like Spotify can be powerful ways for artists to reach new fans, and with more audience data available than ever before artists can gain valuable insight into who their fans are and how they are listening to their music.  So it's crucial to understand how the streaming landscape works and what this data means. In this session we'll look at ways of increasing your listeners, understanding your streaming data and applying this data to your campaigns, pitching your music in Spotify For Artists as well as actionable strategies for running more effective streaming campaigns at every level.


8. D2C Secrets: Selling Direct-to-Fan - Russel Coultart, Direct To Fan Sales 

This session explores the various direct-to-fan options available to artists at different stages of their career, which will allow the artist to start building a direct commercial relationship with their fans from the sale of physical music products, merchandise, tickets, bundles etc via the artist's own e-commerce store. This forms a core part of a successful artist and fan engagement strategy and will help the artist develop a strong and long lasting commercial relationship with their fans. We will look at the service offered by a variety of D2C, e-commerce and merchandise companies, including, for example: Bandcamp, Everpress, Music Glue, Townsend, Ochre, Sandbag, Shopify and others. We will also look at other key considerations including, campaign planning, what products to sell, thinking and acting like a retailer, partnerships, fulfilment, customer service, P&P, packaging, finance (profit and loss, VAT) and the importance of a fan first approach.


9. Livestreaming Gigs and Concerts - Julia Haferkorn

In this session we will discuss aspects of livestreaming gigs and concerts, including how to build and engage online audiences, choice of platform, licensing for livestreams, technical aspects, generating income through livestreamed concerts, and common mistakes to avoid.  The session draws on a 6-month research project, led by Julia, into musicians’ and live music attenders’ experiences and expectations of livestreaming concerts.


10. Classical Music Performance and Audience Development - Julia Haferkorn

In this session we will examine the context of classical music performance.  What motivates audiences to attend live performances of classical music?  From concert hall to car park, what impact does venue choice have on audiences?  And how do performers engage classical music audiences, before, during and after live performances?  We will look at how these questions are relevant to the situation of the individual artist.


11. Independent Music Business - Andy Inglis, 5000 Management / Rachel Morton, Heartstop Music

This session draws on 30+ years of experience of working in the independent sector, with a focus on artist management, tour management, venue operations and venue management.  Preparing for a return to touring and gigging is essential in coming months.  From artist management through to tour budgeting, planning, routing, marketing, live event promotion, and working with booking agents and promoters.  Not to mention preparing you for the rigours of life on the road, your mental health and wellbeing…  This session will equip you with everything you need to know to hit the live scene hard, in a post Covid-19 world.


12. Funding, financial planning, budgeting and business-planning - Victor Redwood-Sawyerr, Red 1 Arts

If you’ve not got a head for numbers, this essential session equips you with the skills and know-how essential to effective budgeting, financial planning, financial management and cashflow.  You will also get help with writing business plans, grant and funding applications and managing the financials of crowdfunding campaigns.  Recognising that musicians are not only businesses, this session is also an opportunity to discuss ideas, identify challenges, deal with overwhelm and clarify a way forward.


13. Legal advice - Tahir Basheer, Sheridans / Pete Bott, Sound Advice

Advice is available on a range of issues especially those afflicting artists whose core revenue comes from live performance and which has come to an abrupt halt.  Understanding what may be due to you in terms of claiming costs and fees from cancelled gigs is one such opportunity, as is having existing agreements and contracts reviewed – from recording, publishing, management and synch. agreements, through to those with collecting societies and booking agents.  And looking ahead to the future, advice is on hand that considers new, alternative income sources, partnerships and possibilities.


14. Business Affairs - Dennis Collopy, Menace Music Management / Andy Edwards

The business affairs session will include a review of current contractual and other legal issues involved with creating, distributing,  licensing and monetising music for both the recordings and the musical works. Where appropriate, advice can be provided in regard to existing and recommendations for future contractual arrangements.

[Note: this session does not constitute legal advice, but informs knowledge about contractual matters.  If you need specific, definitive legal advice from a qualified lawyer, please opt for the legal advice,  session (9), above]


15. Artist development, audience building, branding and business strategy for the short- and long-term - Erik Nielsen, Wingnut Music

This far-reaching session covers artist branding, image, and design, social media best practice, audience building, increasing streams and followers through to release strategy and timelines - from singles, videos, and EPs to album and tour pre-order, and fan-funding campaigns.  You will also learn about e-commerce platforms, merchandise opportunities, working live events and festivals, through to touring strategy and planning.  Finally, you will learn about press, pr, pluggers and when to get them involved.  And to achieve all of this (!), you’ll be equipped with offline, online, and digital marketing tools.


16. The Bit Between the Music+Business: YOU - Jacq Norton, Authentic Artists

Music creators often struggle with a gap in their skillset that is critical to them surviving and thriving - business skills that enable them to make more money and feel they are making measurable progress in their music career.  This session coaches you on how to run your business within your music career.  You will receive practical advice, identify ‘blockers’ and make rapid progress in a short space of time.  Learn how to make more money through strategic planning and improved organisational skills in order to confidently communicate your message.


17. Strong collaborations for career development, resilience and longevity - Tamara Gal-on

The music industry runs on collaborations.  Co-writes, audience shares, artist co-operatives sharing resources.  Building authentic collaborations progresses your career.  And a trusted inner circle means less isolation and also access to understanding support in tough times.  As we already find ourselves in such times as an industry, learning to build authentic long-term collaborations is an increasingly vital skill.

You will leave this session knowing who you need to connect with right now; how to find them; how to be sure they are the right person; what you can offer them (you always have more to offer than you realise) ; how to let go of uncertainties caused by unsuccessful past collaborations; how to build relationships virtually as we are all stuck at home (and still useful once we can travel and tour again).

Before the end of the session you will already be taking inspired action.


18. Using Intuition to Manage Uncertainty and Stay Inspired - Tamara Gal-on

As the uncertain times continue for most people in the music industry, what can you do to stay in action in spite of circumstances and how do you create progress in your career?

To put this another way, what if the current state of world affairs were happening for us, not to us?  What would you do or try if this situation were destined to be the making of you?  It may sound fanciful, or it may sound inspiring, either way it is a story, in the same way that “what if the industry never recovers” is a story.  Let's choose the better stories because when we are open to the better stories, we spot better opportunities.This session is designed to help you see how to work with your gut/ intuition/ inner knowing (related to your muse and/ or inner creative but is focused on what professional decisions you take) in order to to spot opportunities, take inspired action and stay in action in spite of what’s going on around us.

In 18-years of coaching experience this the most efficient way of sustainable career and resilience building.  Say yes to the right things and people. Stop second guessing. 

By the end of this session you will havegained a strategy to resist becoming derailed by uncertainty and start to build resilience; practically applied the strategy to your current situation, so you have a clear picture of what your next steps are and what action to take; got into action and started to see how applying this strategy works so you have a tool for life.